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Take These Steps to Make Facebook Private

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How to Make Facebook Private: Three Simple Changes
Facebook private

Facebook sets its default privacy menu to "Public." Most people should change this to "Friends."

©Facebook
Protecting your Facebook privacy can be challenging, but there are three key things everyone should know about how to make Facebook private or at least not totally public. These are:
  1. How to Keep Your List of Friends Private
  2. How to Make Your Profile and Timeline Private
  3. How to Limit Who Sees your Posts and Photos

By default, Facebook tends to make everything you put on its network fairly public. Most information in your profile, for example, is totally public--viewable in Google search results and to everyone on Facebook, even if they're not your friend or even a friend of a friend. Facebook critics see this as an invasion of people's right to privacy.

The same default public setting applies to your friends list; by default, anyone can see who your friends are, even if they are not your Facebook friend. It's a good idea to change this, but Facebook doesn't make it easy.

Make Facebook Private By Changing Default Sharing to "Friends"

Even before you change your privacy options for your friends list, profile and posts, the very first thing you should do is make sure your default sharing option on Facebook is set to "Friends" and not "Public." By default, Facebook sets it to "Public," which requires you to change it to "Friends" when you post something if you only want your friends to see it.

So it's a good idea to reset this default, which is shown in the image at the top of this page. You csn access it several ways. The best way is by clicking "privacy settings" in the drop-down menu under the little gear icon at the top right of your Facebook home page. That shows you your main privacy options on one page. (You can also click the lock icon next to the gear icon to see a shortened list of privacy options.)

The first item listed is "Who can see my stuff"? The crucial option under it is "who can see my future posts?" By default, the sharing option selected (which appears in the middle column) is usually set to "Public," meaning everyone can see everything you post by default.

To change the default so only your Facebook friends can see what you post, click the small "edit" button at far right, and you should see a small label at the bottom of the box that appears saying, "Public." (If you have previously selected "Friends" in your status update box, it will say "Friends" here instead of "Public." Click on either "Public" or "Friends" to see the full privacy sharing menu displayed in a drop-down menu. That privacy menu is shown in the image above, at the bottom.

Now make sure the checkbox option--"Friends"--is selected, as shown in the image above. Click "close" to save your change.

Other options listed include "custom", which opens another menu allowing you to create a special list of select friends with whom you'll be able to share individual posts and photos with a single click. Just give your list of friends a name, and then you'll be able to select that list from the status update publishing box whenever you like.

Make Facebook Private by Limiting Who Sees Your Friends List

The second thing you should consider doing is changing the default setting for your Friends List, as shown on the next page. Click "NEXT" below to learn how to control who can view your list of friends. (Alternatively, here's a big-picture overview of your Facebook privacy settings.

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